The chief of discounter Poundland-Dealz said it is pressing ahead to open around 10 more stores and put a new fashion line into half of its outlets in the Republic this year, despite the troubles of its international parent Steinhoff.
Managing director Barry Williams said that opening its women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and footwear lines, which is called PEP&CO, in 30 of its existing 61 stores in the Republic will shake up Irish clothing retailers.
The PEP&CO line, with items costing an average of €5, appears designed to take on Penney’s — the retailer which is owned by Associated British Foods — and other fashion retailers, with an investment of up to €5m in its Dealz stores in the Republic.
The fashion line is already available in some of its stores in the North, where the outlets trade under the Poundland name.
Mr Williams said it was likely that the company would have 70 Dealz stores open in the Republic by the end of the year, showing the company was planning to tap opportunities and expand in Ireland, despite the well- publicised woes of its South African parent Steinhoff.
In December, shares in Steinhoff, which also trade in Frankfurt, lost almost 90% of their value amid lawsuits from investors after the South African group reported accounting irregularities.
At the time, Steinhoff said it was seeking significant near-term liquidity for some of its business units.
The group, which has other significant retail businesses on the continent and in the US, is currently valued at around €1.66bn.
Mr Williams said that its proposition was different from other fashion retailers in Ireland because it will sell household goods and fashion clothing under the one roof. PEP&CO line is supplied from manufacturers in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Poundland and Dealz has almost 850 stores in the UK and the Republic.
“Thanks to our partnership with Poundland, and now Dealz in the Republic of Ireland, we’re set to double in size over the coming year, helping us to drive economies of scale to keep prices low,” according to the company.